This is the all-new Ford Kuga. it’s the freshest iteration of ford’s big selling SUV. and this time, there’s a proper plug-in hybrid version, which gives us a great excuse for doing our test.
All this the midsize SUV that is the all-new Ford Kuga. now immediately you might notice that it’s a little bit smoother and softer than the old models. like it’s had some of the sharp edges chamfered off. it to me it looks like a big kind of chubby Ford Focus. but that’s no bad thing. it’s not actually a surprise because the Kuga and the Focus share lots of the hardware underneath.
The Ford Kuga 2020 actually suitable for a family car. it sits really nicely on the road and it should. because it’s a little bit lower and wider than it was before in it’s older models. I think ford’s actually hit a lovely little vein of inoffensive but handsome styling.
Of course, this PHEV is a typical modern Ford. it’s got the Sync 3 touchscreen which is very easy to use. I have to say and the interior is a weird mix of materials. some are nice and some are not so nice. particularly on the insides of the back doors, and on the lower dash.
Though whatever you’re doing down there that that regularly bothers you. one thing I do want to point out though is that ford has left some of the major controls like for the air conditioning as physical buttons rather than touch screen elements and that’s a lot better. because it’s a lot easier to use. when you’re on the move.
Drive Modes and Safety
Suffice to say it’s good but not show-stopping. there are driving modes. Comfort, Sport, Eco, and Slippery. all pretty self-explanatory drive raids like lane keep adaptive cruise and crash mitigation emergency braking and a very healthy 5-star Euro NCAP crash test score.
There’s a driver assistance pack for a grand that adds stuff like blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, and loads of cameras which means that if you want your cougar fairly drippy in tech. you can have it. all very much par for the plug-in course these days and hitting all the right notes.
Room and Space
Space is really very good even in the back seats. I’m six feet tall and though the boot is slightly smaller than a non-PHEV Kuga. I doubt you’d even notice that.
Now there are quite a few different Kuga. there are diesel, petrol, and diesel mild-hybrid, as well as the plug-in petrol hybrid. The plug-in petrol hybrid is way better. because essentially this is the only one that can motivate itself on electric power alone. albeit only a bit. but that bit is actually pretty useful.
The new ford Kuga PHEV has a relatively large 14.4 kWh battery pack. and that’s big for a plug-in hybrid. and it gives you a theoretical range of about 35 miles.
It doesn’t sound like much. but if you think about it if you’re commuting that sort of distance and then plugging in every night. you barely need to use the engine. I’ve been punching around in this car for three or four days doing my all my usual little errands and I’ve basically not used any fuel. that’s got something to do with the fact that you can cruise up to about 85 miles an hour in this on electric power which is good.
Engine and Efficiency
The Atkinson cycle family of the engine. this technology goes back to 1882 fact fans give up power density for efficiency. so instead of being extra powerful, they’re better at mpg and CO2. so the fact that the petrol engine is relatively large in the Kuga shouldn’t worry too much. it also means you get 222 BHP of power. but only 32 grams per kilometer of CO2. and a theoretical 200+ MPG. that’s if you plug it in obviously.
Now that might sound like plenty of go but as with most PHEVs the cougar well it’s a bit of a fatty. it weighs in at well over 1.8 tons. so it’s not exactly whipped fast. It takes 9 seconds to reach 0-60 mph. so I wouldn’t worry too much about straining your neck. but it’s acceptable and it’s useful the CVT gearbox it’s a bit slushy. and it is a bit laggy if you’re going for a quick overtake. but this type of gearbox is very efficient and that’s why they’ve picked it for this car.
Braking and Handling
Anyway, the new cougar brakes are good steering is numb but accurate. and it’s quiet thanks to an acoustic windscreen right here in front of my face. but it’s at this point you realize something quite unexpected. Ford Kuga really does handle. and not in a for a PHEV SUV kind of way. but properly. it may only be front-wheel drive. but it’s got this weird thing that it’s flat and comfortable. it’s curiously competent at going around a bend. in fact, it’s more like something like a mini countryman PHEV than a Mitsubishi outlander.
What else well charging takes about three and a half hours from a wall box. but the cougar doesn’t support fast charging. so long journeys will be petrol only. (once you’ve exhausted the initial charge) that low CO2 score makes it a winner for benefiting kind taxation. which is kind of the point of a PHEV after all.
Ford Kuga 2020 Available trims
It’s available in various trim levels from
- ST-Line X
I’m just going to put this out there and say that I think the Ford Kuga 2020 is probably the best handling car in the segment right now. I know that’s not probably something you’re looking for when you’re trying to get a greenish SUV. but it certainly helps in the satisfaction stakes. yes, that gearbox is a little bit of a weak spot and the interior is kind of use rather than inspiring. but all in all, it’s a bit of a point win for the midsize Ford. a bit of a swiss army knife if you ask me so that’s the Ford Kuga a very complete mid-sized SUV, for sure.
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